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A recent working paper presented at PAS' recent munaqashah (special convention) by information chief and deputy musyidul 'Am Haron Din caused a stir within the Islamist party.

The paper entitled Kepimpinan Ulama Di Era Caraban Baru proposed, among others, that the president and his deputy be automatically made members of the Majlis Syura Ulama (Consultative Council of Religious Scholars).

Some are concerned that Haron's proposal is a precursor to amending the party constitution to restrict the presidency and deputy presidency to the ulama.

The concept of kepimpinan ulama (leadership by ulama), and the structure of the Majlis Syura Ulama , is central to the identity of post-1982 PAS.

However, this has been increasingly questioned internally in the recent years with the influx of highly-educated middle-class members in the aftermath of the sacking of former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim. This article traces the lay origin of the now sacred concept, as well as current woes.

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